Beatrix Mei and Alexander Evans (Chinese middle name pending!) were finally born far too soon but later than they might have been at 1.26 and 1.27pm today by Caesarean section. We made it to 28 weeks and 3 days. They are both over a kilo. Bea/Betsy/Beatrix was 1220g and her brother a grand 1100g or so. Both doing fine in the Neonatal intensive Care Unit. Alexander will have a fight on his hands for a while as he has Respiratory Distress Syndrome so will need a lot of help breathing. His sister’s looking more stable and may even be able to cuddle me and breathe by herself in a couple of days. They are wrinkly and too too beautiful and fragile, and a bit like Benjamin Button. Will put some photos on Facebook tomorrow as the ipad won’t let me upload here.
I managed to get out of bed a few hours after my op and make it into a wheelchair to go up to the unit. I slightly lost it in the lift and as we reached there as it all hit home and hormones raged. Partly tamed by the fact it really hurts when I cry so I had to pull myself together. And stupid as it sounds I didn’t want sobbing to be the first thing my babies heard their mother do. I got to stroke Beatrix and hold her hand. She gripped my finger with her little fingers and tried to open her eyes when I sang to her and spoke. Alexander too opened his eyes wide and visible calmed when I chatted and sang. We couldn’t touch him today as his risk level is too high. As we left there was an emergency with him and I had to get out as he looked like he was fitting. But having never been in a neonatal unit I figured it was better to leave them to it as I couldn’t hope to understand what was going on and whether it was normal or terrible. The doctor came down later and explained that they have had to sedate him to stabilise him as the feisty little monkey has been fighting the machines. A sign of things to come I hope. He’s doing much better now.
This is going to be a long road. I can only think of it as a job of work now. I have to wake up to express colostrum every three hours so it doesn’t dry up and they get the antibodies they need. I won’t be able to see Lucas or introduce him to his little brothers for a few days because of the risk of infection after his vomiting bug. Going to be in about a week and then coming every day for a few months I reckon.
We saw number three’s foetus today on our request as well. It was surprisingly satisfying. He looks like a perfect alien being. Beautiful fingers and toes formed, ear buds and the beginnings of his angelic face. We will have him cremated and scatter his ashes by the plum tree we planted and I will, I think, have closure.
I am already trying to forget the delivery. For the sake of any of you pregnant, about to drop or ever to be pregnant again, I think it would be inconsiderate to share the details. I sang my way through all the jazz songs I could remember plus a bit of Salt and Pepper (ah ooh push it push it good) for a laugh but I would say the multiple nature of it and the possible outcomes made it one of the most stressful and traumatic events I have ever been through. If trauma can be positive though, surrounded by 12, yes 12, amazing paediatricians, obstetricians and midwives, then it will -in time – become that in my mind. All these things are just part of our narrative aren’t they and I think we just have to be grateful for them and what we learn about the world and ourselves through them.
OK before I get too cod philosophical, good night. Thanks for all your texts and comments. 130 people checked in today. Or more likely 26.2 of you five times. Sorry I was a bit slow to share the news but apparently you can’t take iPads into theatre xxx